Summed up Consequentialism is that the ends justify the means. Basically as long as the end result is what we want, who cares how we get there. Our government, not only today but of generations past also, seem to thrive on this "theory." I think about this often as I evaluate my purpose and worth as a man, and as I try to guide my sons.
Definition of END
a-cessation of a course of action, pursuit, or activity
The end, as most people see it, is as defined above. I tend to look at a larger, broader picture. To me there is but one end, my death. Just as nothing before my birth could I control, nothing after my death will I be able to either.
Definition of MEAN(S)
2-plural but sing or plural in constr : something useful or helpful to a desired end
Once again most people look at a singular event to a singular end. My paycheck justifies my "worth", and the means to my home, car, etc...
Throughout life we all have the means to create change, positive and negative. To put my opinion bluntly the ends NEVER justify the means. To believe so is looking at the picture, and life, backwards. The means justify the end...if you are lucky. Among warriors of old, they dreamt of a warriors death, one of honor and bravery. To die in a service to a value, larger then your own. When I look at the world around me and learn of lives past, it is not the "method" of death that brought a justified end, but their actions in the end justified their lives. In many a movie, most recently 300, there is the scene where brothers in arms make a statement about "honored to met you" or some such.
Stelios: It's an honor to die at your side.
King Leonidas: It's an honor to have lived at yours.
My basic point in this drabble is to say, that from the moment you took your 1st breath, the end has been coming. Make the journey to that end as pure and honorable in every aspect of your life, justify your end by the way you live your life. For some direction on how to achieve this, look to your articles of faith, or to "The Code of the Samurai."
Live a good life, and you will be a good man.